CODE OF ETHICS

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL INTEGRITY

All staff, board members and volunteers of the organization act with honesty, integrity and openness in all their dealings as representatives of the organization. The organization promotes a working environment that values respect, fairness, and integrity.

 

MISSION

The organization has a clearly stated mission and purpose, approved by the board of directors, in pursuit of the public good. All of Bridge to Care’s programs support that mission and all who work for or on behalf of the organization understand and are loyal to that mission and purpose.

ETHICAL AND RESPONSIBLE BEHAVIOR:

  • HONESTY: Bridge to Care Inc. staff and volunteers should be scrupulously honesty in their dealings with donors, beneficiaries, employees, volunteers, governing body members, the public and the authorities. 

  • INTEGRITY: BTC staff and members respect the integrity of the mission established by their governing body. •

  • PROMISE KEEPING: Bridge to Care does not interpret agreements in an unreasonably technical or legalistic manner to rationalize noncompliance to create justifications for escaping their commitments. 

  • FAIRNESS: Bridge to Care manifest a commitment to justice, the equal treatment of individuals, and tolerance for and acceptance of diversity. They are open-minded, willing to admit they are wrong, and, where appropriate, change their positions and beliefs. They do not overreach or take undue advantage of another’s mistakes or difficulties. 

  • CARING FOR OTHERS: Concern for the well-being of others manifests itself in compassion, giving, kindness, and serving. Bridge to Care requires that one attempts to help those in need and avoids harming others. 

  • RESPECT FOR OTHERS: Bridge to Care ensures to demonstrate respect for human dignity, privacy, and the right to self-determination of all competent adults. They are courteous and decent. They provide others with the information they need to make informed decisions about their own lives.

  • TRANSPARENCY: Staff should provide as much relevant information to the public as is reasonably possible to permit intelligent assessment of goals, means, and results as they relate to the organization’s mission.

  • RESPONSIBLE CITIZENSHIP: Responsible citizenship involves lawfulness, participation, social consciousness, and public service. Bridge to Care is careful to obey all relevant regulations and laws.

  • PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE: Bridge to Care is concerned with the quality of their work. They pursue excellence and are diligent, reliable, industrious and committed.

  • ACCOUNTABILITY: Bridge to Care has an excellent Quality Improvement system which ensures that all decisions made are accounted for.

  • SAFEGUARD PUBLIC TRUST: Bridge to Care understands that it has special obligations to lead by example, to safeguard and advance the integrity and reputation of all organizations that depend on voluntary support and public trust, to avoid even the appearance of impropriety, and to take whatever actions are necessary to correct or prevent the inappropriate conduct of others.                                                                            

PREVENTION OF ABUSE

Bridge to Care follows a Zero Tolerance Policy to Abuse of any kind or nature to personnel or person served be it a child or adult. Bridge to Care will comply with the requirements of the Child Youth and Family Enhancement Act, Residential Facilities Licensing Regulation, and required standards.

It is the policy of Bridge to Care that no form of abuse directed at individuals in service will be tolerated; be it emotional, physical, sexual, exploitation, negligence, or inappropriate use of restrictive procedures. Staff actions considered to be abusive will result in disciplinary action up to termination of employment. If staff actions are criminal acts, the agency will report these actions to the police (e.g. theft, assault). Every employee who works with the agency has a role in promoting ways they can help prevent abuse towards individuals from occurring. For those who work with individuals this could include:

▪ Assisting to educate individuals in service in areas such as: knowing their rights, understanding what abuse is and who they can talk to, and safety training in areas of risk for them.

▪ Assisting individuals to communicate what they want or don’t want by: encouraging individuals to make choices instead of making choices for them; encouraging them to express themselves; developing a communication tool(s) for those who are non-verbal.

▪ Assisting individuals develop relationships and friendships in their communities and assist them to be part of their community.

No person shall:

  • Shame, humiliate, oppress, belittle or degrade children or young people;

  • Unlawfully discriminate against any child;

  • Engage in any activity with a child or young person that is likely to physically or emotionally harm them;

  • Initiate unnecessary physical contact with a child or young person, or do things of a personal nature for them that they can do for themselves;

  • Develop a ‘special’ relationship with a specific child or young person for their own needs.

  • Arrange contact, including online contact, with children or young people outside of the organization’s programs and activities;

  • Photograph or video a child or young person without the consent of the child and his/her parents or guardians;

  • Work with children or young people while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs;  

  • Engage in open discussions of a mature or adult nature in the presence of children;

  • Use inappropriate language in the presence of children; or

  • Do anything in contravention of the organization’s policies, procedures or this Code of Conduct.

  • No person shall engage in inappropriate use of restrictive procedure: An unapproved approach or procedure that restricts the rights, freedoms, choices or self-determination of the client, such as, deliberate confining (to restrain or enclose in a place) without legal authority to do so (e.g. Administering medication to a client for an inappropriate purpose).

IMPORTANT NOTE:

If you breach this Code of Conduct you will face disciplinary action, including and up to termination of employment if an employee or cessation of engagement with the organization.

REPORTING ABUSE:

Agency personnel reporting suspected, or actual occurrences of illegal, unethical, or inappropriate behavior or practices can do so without repercussion.

  • The employee is asked to promptly report the suspected or actual event to his/her supervisor and to keep the report confidential.

  • If the employee is uncomfortable or otherwise reluctant to report to his/her supervisor, then the Employee is asked to report the event to the next highest or another level of management.

  • The employee can report the event disclosing his/her identity or anonymously.

  • The employee shall receive no retaliation or retribution for a report that was provided in good faith – that was not done primarily with malice to damage another or the organization.

  • An employee who makes a report that is not done in good faith is subject to discipline, including termination, or other legal means to protect the reputation of the Agency and its staff.

  • Anyone who retaliates against the employee (who reported an event in good faith) will be subject to discipline up to and including termination.

  • Supervisors, who receive the report must promptly act to bring the matter to the Human Resources Director who will then investigate and/or resolve the issue. The Executive Director must be notified. Confidentiality on the part of the supervisor must be maintained.

  • The identity of the employee, if known, shall remain confidential to those persons directly involved in applying this policy, unless the issue requires investigation by another applicable body such as law enforcement.

 

COMPLAINT POLICY

This policy and procedure applies to complaints received by Bridge to Care Inc. about our activities, programs, services, staff, or volunteers.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES

It is in the interest of all parties that complaints are dealt with promptly and resolved as quickly as possible. Review of complaints is fair, impartial and respectful to all parties. Complainants are advised of their options to escalate their complaint to a more senior staff person if they are dissatisfied with treatment or outcome. Complainants are provided clear and understandable reasons for decisions relating to complaints. Updates are provided to complainants during review processes. Complaints are used to assist in improving services, policies, and procedures. COMPLAINTS DEFINITION:

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction about the service, actions, or lack of action by Bridge to Care Inc. as an organization or a staff member or volunteer acting on behalf of Bridge to Care Inc. Examples include but are not limited to: - perceived failure to do something agreed upon; - failure to observe policy or procedures; - error made by a staff member/volunteer; or - unfair or discourteous actions/statements by staff member/volunteer; Anyone personally affected can complain and their complaint will be reviewed in accordance with this procedure. COMPLAINT RECEIPT AND HANDLING

A complaint may be received verbally (by phone or in person) or in writing (by mail, fax, email). An employee or volunteer who receives a complaint should first determine the proper person to handle it. This will generally be the person who has the primary relationship with the complainant or has the specific knowledge that is needed to resolve the problem. It is the responsibility of the person who receives the complaint to either resolve it or transfer it to another person who can resolve it. If the complaint is transferred, the recipient must acknowledge to the transferor that he/she has received it and will act on it. The person who initially receives the complaint should acknowledge to the complainant that the complaint has been received and will be acted on either by him/herself or another employee. If a timeframe for action can be determined, that should be included in the acknowledgement. Basic contact information including name, phone number and email address should immediately be recorded.

LINES OF COMMUNICATION

For Clients:

The client may report a complaint to the team lead of a program if applicable. The program manager will be the next recipient, followed by the Director.

For Employees:

Employee may report to the team lead of the program if applicable. The program manager or quality assurance manager will be the next recipient, followed by the director.

Resolving the Complaint

Every effort should be made to resolve complaints received in a timely fashion. When receiving a verbal complaint, staff should listen and seek to understand the complaint, and may attempt to resolve it immediately. Complaints received in writing should be acknowledged within 2 business days and staff should attempt to resolve the matter within 10 business days. Where a complaint cannot be easily resolved, it should be escalated to the Director. If the complaint is about the Director, it will be handled by the Chair of the Governance Committee. Complainants should be kept informed of the status of their complaint. Every attempt should be made to resolve escalated complaints within an additional 10 business days so that all complaints are resolved within a month of having been received.

Documenting the Complaint

It is necessary to keep a record of any complaint that involves a dispute over money as well as any complaint that cannot be resolved immediate (on the same day it is received). Information about such complaints must be recorded. Information recorded includes a description of the complaint, who handled it, what was done to resolve the complaint, timeframe, and a description of the resolution. A summary of the complaints received including number and type will be reported to the Bridge to Care Inc.’s Board of Directors annually.